As other bloggers have noted, today is the official end of support for Notes/Domino R5.  Extended support contracts are available for up to two more years, but for the most part, this marks the end of the release cycle.

It feels like I should give a eulogy.

I changed my whole life for Notes R5 -- moving to Boston to be a Notes product manager for this release.  My first assignment was to work with Binary Tree on e-mail migraton tools, then I moved on to working on the Welcome Page with this guy, and some deal-making with AOL and Lycos.  Somehow I let Scott Prather convince me that the commute from Boston's Fenway neighborhood to Westford wouldn't be bad.

It seems most remember the R5/I am Superman ad campaign, along with Super.Human.Software as a tagline.  I don't think I'm allowed to publicly say how many zeros were in the launch budget -- wow was that a different time and place.  I think we celebrated the R5 launch for about six months, starting with Lotusphere 99 ("shipping product?  Who needs shipping product?") all the way through ship parties and champagne lunches and heaven knows what else.

R5 was a great product.  I remember how the new UI was very fluid...development was trying to move forward into the Internet UI era while managing performance, backward compatibility, and feature requests coming in until the last day.  And the challenges of getting the client templates built when they were so reliant on the new features in the R5 Designer.
Image:End of support for Notes/Domino R5


With all the discussion we have about the Notes UI, one bit of trivia I'll (over)share is about the R5 logo.  The swooping "N" shape and lowercase "notes" that you see above were marketing creations.  We went through a lot of different designs for those, as well as for things like the icons for the welcome page.  Robby Shaver did his own somewhat obscure but creative work on the "window panes" that were in the lower left of the R5 calendar (you did understand that metaphor, right?).

R5 was a massive undertaking, with years of work, tons of sweat, and a really incredible product management team to work with.  That was a special time at Lotus, and I'm grateful to have been a part of it.

What's your favorite R5 memory?  Cliff, it's OK, we won't beat you up if you participate in this discussion. ;)

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